Flu occurs every year and most people usually recover within a week, but for some, the disease can be dangerous and increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses. In the worst cases, flu can result in a stay in hospital or even death.
But this is anything but a normal year. There has never been a more important time to make sure you, and those you care for, are protected against serious illnesses such as the flu.
Flu can affect anyone, but some people are more susceptible to the effects of flu. Keep your guard up against flu with the flu vaccine. It’s free for everyone who is at increased risk including:
If you’re aged 50-64, you can now contact your GP or Pharmacist about getting your free flu vaccine.
This year, the following groups of children are being offered the flu vaccination:
The nasal vaccine contains a highly processed form of porcine gelatine. The gelatine helps to keep the vaccine viruses stable.
Some faith groups accept the use of gelatine in medical products - the decision is up to you. Find out more about vaccines with porcine gelatine
Alternatives may be available, speak to your healthcare provider.
It’s best to have the flu vaccination in the autumn. Remember that you need a flu jab every year as the flu virus can change from year to year.
The flu jab is free for everyone who is at increased risk. To get the vaccination, speak to your GP or practice nurse or pharmacist, or visit NHS Choices. You can also book an appointment at a local pharmacy.
School-aged children will receive their vaccination from a trained health professional at school. For more information on children and flu vaccination visit NHS Choices Child Flu.
The flu vaccine won’t protect you against COVID-19. But it will help protect you against flu, which is an unpleasant and potentially serious infection that can cause complications leading to hospital
admission. Helping to protect against flu is particularly important with COVID-19 in circulation because people vulnerable to COVID-19 are also at risk of complications from flu.
NHS premises are safe, it is important you attend to get your flu vaccination this winter.
You are at greater risk of having a serious illness if you don’t have the flu jab.
Continue to follow all government advice on face coverings, hand washing and social distancing when you attend a health service. Please do not attend a GP practice or pharmacy if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or you have been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
Take a look at the NHS mythbusters for more.